The Christian community of Waterlooville celebrates the first day of Holy Week with the procession of colts on Palm Sunday in the main street
Worshipers at St George’s Church met outside the Heroes pub before marching together to church on Hambledon Road.
Palm Sunday commemorates Christ’s entry into Jerusalem and is named after the palm branches placed in his path.
The day marks the start of Holy Week, the last week of Lent, and comes before Maundy Thursday, the day of Jesus’ arrest, the crucifixion on Good Friday, and then Easter Sunday.
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Chris Gadd, churchwarden, said: “Palm Sunday is the start of what we call Holy Week and it celebrates the entry of Jesus into Jeraselum.
“It is a very important occasion and celebrates his triumphant return.
“We are preparing for the week which will culminate on Easter Sunday next Sunday.”
The colt, a young horse, was found for the procession by a member of the church community.
The animal represents the story of the disciples sent to fetch a colt for Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem.
Reflecting on the morning attendance, Chris added: “We had a good turnout, a great day and the horse did well.
“It is the biggest week of the Christian year, we spend a lot of time planning it and we very much hope that our services this week will be as well supported as they were today.”
The Stations of the Cross service will take place at 6 p.m. at St George’s Church on April 11, 12 and 13.
The Maundy Thursday service followed by the guard will be held at the church at 7:30 p.m. on April 14.
The Good Friday liturgy with reading of The Passion will take place at 2 p.m. on Good Friday April 15.
The Easter Day Eucharist will take place at 8am and 10am on Easter Sunday, followed by the Easter Vigil, the lighting of the Easter fire and the first Easter Mass at 7.30pm.
Chris added: “We would like to see people in our church this week. This is the first Holy Week in at least two years where we have not been affected by Covid. It would be a great pleasure to see new faces.
“Anyone wishing to visit St George’s would be welcome.”